Whether you realise it or not, your forearm as well as grip strength say a great deal about you. Grip strength is an extremely quick way to evaluate how much full body strength you have.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a serious weightlifter or are just serious about carrying every single one of your grocery bags (at once) into the house, you probably want to have spectacular grip strength. This is because having a powerful grip is one of the eventual goals of functional fitness, whether you want to add on serious poundage to your deadlift or just be better at carrying your boyfriend’s suitcases at the airport.
As well, because kettlebells are good for just about everything — strength, cardio, looking like an all-around badass — you better believe they’re also going to be great for building incredible grip strength.
Before You Start
The kettlebell moves that we describe in this article are not meant to be a single workout, done right in a row. Fit them into your programme as you see fit: perhaps some will work as finishers after heavy days while other moves will be (very) active rest sets during your light lower-body push days.
If you have any conditioning days, these exercises can also be great add-ins. Just don’t go trying to pre-exhaust your grip with these movements before you step onto the deadlifting platform: your forearms will hate you and your friends will mock you. And no one wants that, really.
Here are some of the must-do exercises for those of you who absolutely love kettlebell training and want to ramp up your hand strength.
Towel Kettlebell Curl
Run the towel through the handle of a kettlebell and fold it in half. Hold both ends in one hand (for kettlebell) and curl, keeping your upper arm stationary.
Pick up the heaviest kettlebells that you can handle and walk with your chest out, standing tall and have your arms at your sides. Walk between 36 and 45 metres. You can walk in a figure-eight pattern if you don’t have the space. At the end of the distance, stop and continue to hold the weights for as long as possible.
Hammer Cheat Curl
Grasp a kettlebell in each hand and cheat the weights, as if doing a clean, to the top position of a curl. Use momentum from your hips to get the weights up. Slowly lower the weights back down for five counts.
Hold a kettlebell in each hand and sit on a bench, box, or chair. Rest your forearms on your thighs and allow your wrists to bend back over your knees so that the weights hang down. Curl the kettlebells up by just flexing your wrists.
Are you a personal trainer and want to incorporate kettlebell training into your clients’ sessions? If you do, then you should do our Kettlebell Course. For additional information and to register, please follow this link.